Communication No. 1868/2009

UN Human Rights Committee

The author argued that the  decision of Denmark not to prosecute the leader of the Danish People’s Party who compared the Muslim headscarf to the Nazi swastika constituted a violation of Article 20(2) ICCPR. The Human Rights Committee found that the author failed to demonstrate that she was a victim for purposes of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Theme(s): Religious Hatred

Date: 26 July 2010

Description of applicant(s): Citizen

 Brief description of facts:

On 29 April 2007, the leader of the Danish People’s Party (DPP), Member of Parliament Ms. Pia Kjærsgaard, made a statement on National Danish Television comparing the Muslim headscarves with the Nazi symbol of the swastika. Another member of the Danish People’s Party and member of Parliament Mr. Søren Krarup had recently made a similar comparison. The author adheres to the Muslim faith and wears a headscarf for religious reasons. She considered that the comparison of the use of a headscarf with the Nazi swastika is a personal insult to her. Moreover, she argued that it creates a hostile environment and concrete discrimination against her. On 30 April 2007, the author’s counsel reported the statement to the Copenhagen Metropolitan police, alleging a violation of section 266 (b) of the Danish Criminal Code. On 20 September 2007, the Copenhagen Metropolitan police notified the counsel that the Public Prosecutor for Copenhagen and Bornholm decided not to prosecute Ms. Kjærsgaard. Appeals failed. The applicant claimed to be a victim by Denmark of her rights under, inter alia, Article 20(2) ICCPR.

(Alleged) target(s) of speech: Muslims

The Committee’s assessment of the impugned speech:

No assessment for reasons discussed below.

Important paragraph(s) from the decision:

Para 6.4: In the present case, the Committee considers that the author has failed to establish that the statement made by Ms. Kjærsgaard had specific consequence for her or that the specific consequences of the statements were imminent and would personally affect the author. The Committee therefore considers that the author has failed to demonstrate that she was a victim for purposes of the Covenant. This part of the communication is therefore inadmissible under article 1 of the Optional Protocol.

ICCPR Article: Article 20(2)

Decision: Inadmissible